In Memoriam: Angela Lansbury

Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images


Dame Angela Lansbury was born in 1925 in the Regent’s Park neighborhood of London. Her career spanned across Broadway with lead roles in Mame (1966) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), the former earning her her first Tony award.

She became a household name starring on television as detective Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote (1984-96), considered a landmark in TV for having an older female protagonist. At the series’ end, it was tied for the longest-running dramatic detective series in history. In addition to theater and TV, she was also active in film. Both 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomsticks and perhaps her most well-known role, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast (1991), helped cement her as a beloved actress to fans of all ages.

In 1982, Lansbury was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame, and was one of the oldest first-time winners of the Olivier Award in 2015, which she won for Best Supporting Actress. Later in that same year, she was given the  Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.

Lansbury is one of few performers who have received nominations for all EGOT awards — Emmy, Grammy, Academy Award (Oscar), and Tony Awards.

Lansbury, an icon in musical theatre, received seven Tony Award nominations winning five awards for Mame in 1966, Dear World in 1969, Gypsy in 1975, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 1979, and Blithe Spirit in 2009. In 2022 she received the Lifetime Achievement Tony Award. She also earned a Laurence Olivier Award, three Drama Desk Awards, and two Outer Critics Circle Awards.

For her work in film she earned three Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her performances in Gaslight (1944), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). She received an Honorary Academy Award for her lifetime achievement in film in 2013. She also earned two Golden Globe Awards for The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Manchurian Candidate. She earned a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year for Beauty and the Beast (1991). For her work in television she earned 18 Primetime Emmy Award nominations including 12 consecutive nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote (1984-1996). She also received four Golden Globe Awards for Murder, She Wrote. In 1997 she earned a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and in 2003 she earned a Britannia Award for Lifetime Achievement in Television and Film.

She continued acting on stage and screen until her final days, with her final credit, a cameo appearance in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, airing posthumously in late 2022.

Learn more about her incredible legacy in The New York Times, NBC News, and TCM